Album Review: Officium Triste – The Death of Gaia (Transcending Obscurity Records)

Dutch death/doom metal legends Officium Triste, who have been around for 25 years, are back with their sixth full length album titled ‘The Death of Gaia’. They’re only wiser with age, for the music is just as evocative as always if not more this time around.

The Death of Gaia is the pinnacle of the band’s illustrious career and sets new standards even now for others to look up too. It will be released on the 13th December 2019 via Transcending Obscurity Records.

One of the things that will take many listeners by surprise when delving into The Death of Gaia is just how gentle and emotive it often is. Yes, this is a doom album with death metal elements but it leans way more towards delivering melodic wonder while balancing intense heaviness. It’s disconcerting as all hell but will leave most in awe of what they’re hearing.

It begins so well too with The End is Nigh. The emotion pouring from every single note but made all the more impactful by the might of the metal. We then get something equally as fascinating but layered with dark gothic melodies and chugging bass hooks in World in Flames. Before Shackles heightens the senses with the eerie sound of a keyboard, sudden jabs of guitars, methodical drums and vocals that scrape feeling off the soul.

Those first three tracks tell you everything you need to know about Officium Triste’s new album. Each one unique and interesting but they’re really only get started and it’s about to get even better if that is at all possible.

The 2:24 length of A House in A Field in the Eye of the Storm implies it’s an intermission, which it is, sort of. However, as ‘intermissions’ go this is one of the finest. The strumming melody immediately getting under the skin so that when it picks up into a heavier beat it is still as immensely gorgeous. It will drive most wild as it is a legitimately ‘mouth wide open’ piece of music.

The Guilt has all the darkness of approaching death within it and the addition of female vocals herald the arrival of the reaper. After only 3 minutes it takes on new life as a fuzzy thump akin to a heartbeat starts up and violins join the fray. The beat gets heavier, the guttural male vocals deeper and the guitars digging deeply to deliver consuming rhythm.

There’s no excuses, this is an album that has to be heard. Just Smoke and Mirrors and Like A Flower in the Desert adds even more reasons as to why. The riffs wash over like soft waves on a beach while the vocals reveal monstrosities hidden in the sand. Gaze in wonder at what was not supposed to be seen with human eyes or heard with human ears. Both tracks as devilishly addictive as they are enlightening.

Finally and disappointingly, The Death of Gaia must end but it’s with one last huge hurrah. One last emotionally wrought, dripping in atmosphere track.

Called Losing Ground, it begins in subtle style and reveals clean male vocals before the more familiar thump and crash of Officium Triste’s doominess arrives. Switching between the two, this finale is both the most relaxing and the most intense listens of the album.

The Death of Gaia is required listening.

Officium Triste – The Death of Gaia Full Track Listing:

1. The End is Nigh
2. World in Flames
3. Shackles
4. A House in A Field In the Eye of the Storm
5. The Guilt
6. Just Smoke and Mirrors
7. Like A Flower in the Desert
8. Losing Ground

 

 

Links

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Officium Triste - The Death of Gaia (Transcending Obscurity Records)
  • 9.5/10
    The Final Score - 9.5/10
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